With sugar addiction at an all-time high, I want to talk to you about why you need to avoid processed sugar.
You might be wondering What’s the Problem with Sugar?
You probably haven't spent a ton of time wondering what happens to your body after you eat something sugary – it goes in there with all the rest of the food you consume and keeps you alive – end of story. Well, sugar is definitely needed to stay alive.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy and play an important role in the functioning of the internal organs, the nervous system, and the muscles, but our systems do not need sugar in the quantity that we are used to.
Before food processing, when sugar was mainly obtained from fruits and vegetables, people consumed about 30 grams per day of it. Today, an average American consumes 76 grams a day, which is about 19 teaspoons. That adds up to 96 pounds of sugar per year.
Canadians consume slightly lower amounts at 88 pounds. The World Health Organization would like to see the number get down to 25 grams a day for both men and women (which would be 6¼ teaspoons).
High amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on our immune systems, our hormones, and digestion. Some of the negative effects are premature aging, weight gain, fatigue, bone loss, mental fatigue, depression and it is a major contributing factor to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
(Don't feel like reading? That's ok, I've got you covered. Watch the video above for the same content)
How much sugar do you consume in a day?
At first thought, you probably think, "not that much." Let's have a look, starting with breakfast. For example, you begin your day with a bagel with peanut butter and a small strawberry yogurt - for a total of 33 grams of sugar. At mid-morning you have a large cup of coffee from your favorite coffee shop (double/ double) - 34 grams of sugar. For lunch you decide to go easy on the calories, so you have a salad with Italian vinaigrette and a slice of whole wheat bread - that's another 14 grams of sugar.
For an afternoon pick-me-up, you have a can of pop - 39 grams of sugar.
And then for dinner, you have some pasta with grilled chicken and store-bought tomato sauce - that's 9 grams for the sauce and about 2 grams from the noodles.
The GRAND TOTAL: 131 grams of sugar or 32 teaspoons (roughly ¾ of a cup)!
That's an eye-opener for sure.
Sugar is labeled as an addiction because it stimulates the brain in a way that is similar to cocaine and alcohol, causing the release of the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
When sugar is consumed in large quantities it has several effects:
I know how hard it is to quit refined sugar and you may be wondering where to even start.
You might even be thinking it’s impossible to quit all sugar. The thing is, you don’t need to quit it all, but you do need to be aware of how to make better choices and how to reduce your sugar intake.
To help you out, I want to offer you a Free 5-day Sugar-Free Challenge.
It may be difficult to stay on track when the cravings hit – but I’ve provided emergency fixes and a very detailed and easy to follow meal plan and recipes.
With some advanced planning, a trip to the grocery store and a positive attitude, you will come out the other side feeling great.
Join the Free 5-day Sugar-Free Challenge HERE.
May Anne xo
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.